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Opinions/help choosing a first "real" pair of closed, around-the-ear headphones for a wide variety of music

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello all, 

I'm quite new (brand new, in fact) to the whole world of high end headphones, and was hoping you could provide some assistance as I make my first selection on a pair of "real" headphones. Thank you for your time and opinions! 

 

Things I would like from a pair of headphones:

1) Closed design, so that music does not leak out.

2) Noise cancellation is not necessary. A little damping or attenuation of the outside world would be nice, but I by no means need a noise "blackout".

3) I'd like them to be circumaural in design (fully sealed and partially sealed are both fine). (I don't really like on-ear headphones that much, they are just not comfortable to me)

3b) Pretty much a given, but I'm hoping to find a comfortable pair that I can wear for a few hours at a time and not really notice them.

4) I listen to a wide variety of music. Pretty much anything but rap and metal, but I do still like bass in electronic music and hope to find some headphones that are good with the low end of the spectrum. I would rather have something that is 4 stars across the board than 5 stars in bass, and 3 stars in mids and highs though.

5) I'd prefer headphones that can operate well without a dedicated headphone amp, though I may add one down the road.

6) Oh yes, and of course, budget. I'd like to stay under $100, but might be able to stretch to $150.

 

Yikes, I'm picky. I don't know, perhaps headphones of this sort don't exist in my price range, but if any do or come close, would you provide a recommendation? Thanks in advance! 

 

(and honestly, almost anything will probably be better than my current headphones, a pair of no-name VRDH200, which I included here just for fun.)

post #2 of 8

The Sony MDR 7506 should work for you.

post #3 of 8

Sony MDR-V6 is the same thing as the 7506 (except for different stickers) and is sometimes cheaper. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Those seem to fit the bill nicely! My only question on them - how comfortable are they? I've read in several reviews people found them quite tight around the head. Do you have firsthand experience wearing these for extended periods of time, and if so, what are your impressions on the comfort level of the MDR-V6?

post #5 of 8

I had them for 8 years, and I agree that they are a bit tight on the head. The headband is just a metal bar wrapped in leather, so you can easily bend them to adjust the tightness. However, the ear cups are rather shallow and the driver is covered by a metal housing that tends to press into your ears. I did not find them comfortable for extended periods of time, as in 2+ hours. 

post #6 of 8

Once again I’ll mention that headphone comfort is a very individual thing.  Sizing and sensitivities are unique to each person.  We can point you to headphones that are generally considered to be comfortable and mention others that have garnered complaints for being uncomfortable.  However, the only way to know for sure is to wear them yourself for a time equivalent to your longest listening session.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by KG Jag View Post
 

Once again I’ll mention that headphone comfort is a very individual thing.  Sizing and sensitivities are unique to each person.  We can point you to headphones that are generally considered to be comfortable and mention others that have garnered complaints for being uncomfortable.  However, the only way to know for sure is to wear them yourself for a time equivalent to your longest listening session.

This is very true. I have the AKG Q701 and Hifiman HE-400, both of which get a lot of complaints comfort-wise, but I could wear either one all day and be fine. It all depends. 

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

Sony MDR-V6 is the same thing as the 7506 (except for different stickers) and is sometimes cheaper. 


I don't hear them to be the same and neither do many others:

 

"Comparing the MDR-7506 with the MDR-V6 was interesting; anyone who claims these two lookalikes sound the same should have their hearing tested. First, the MDR-V6 makes more and fuller bass while MDR-7506 is leaner -- vocals sound more immediate, and the treble range is accentuated. As noted, the MDR-V6 is comparatively laid-back and mellower, while the MDR-7506 crisper and livelier."

 

...

 

"As noted, while the two models look nearly identical, they don't sound identical. I can't say they're day-and-night opposites -- the two headphones share a similar overall sound -- but the differences are significant, so it's just a matter of picking the one that matches your taste. I'd go for the MDR-V6 -- I highly recommend it -- but CNET Executive Editor David Carnoy, who edited this review, preferred the MDR-7506. And so did CNET editor Matthew Moskovciak.

 

In other words, these are two excellent headphones that offer distinct sonic differences. It's less about which one is "better" and more about which sound you prefer. But if you value sound quality and comfort, both of these should be at the top of your list when you're shopping for headphones under $100."

 

Link:

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/sony-mdr7506/4505-7877_7-30236247-2.html

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